Issue 16-15, May 7, 2016
- ANNOUNCEMENT: NEW HORIZONS KUIPER BELT EXTENDED MISSION SCIENCE PLANNING OPPORTUNITY
- SOFIA CYCLE 5 CALL FOR OBSERVING PROPOSALS RELEASED
- FEEDBACK TO OPAG ON NASA R&A RESTRUCTURING
- FEEDBACK TO MEPAG ON NASA R&A RESTRUCTURING
- JOBS/POSITIONS OPPORTUNITIES
- UPCOMING MEETINGS & WORKSHOPS
ANNOUNCEMENT: NEW HORIZONS KUIPER BELT EXTENDED
MISSION SCIENCE PLANNING OPPORTUNITY
The centerpiece of the proposed New Horizons Kuiper Belt Extended
Mission (NH-KEM) is the very close flyby of the 20-40 km wide KBO
2014 MU69 on 1 January 2019. NH-KEM will also observe ~20 other
KBOs at phase angles and/or at resolutions not otherwise possible,
producing a unique database of KBO phase curves, satellite searches,
and ring searches.
If NH-KEM is approved, mission schedules require that both distant
KBO observations and MU69 close flyby planning must begin almost
The New Horizons team plans to use a portion of its September Science
Team Meeting the week of Sep 19 to gather community input to NH-KEM
Those are interested in listening to or potentially presenting at this
activity should complete the indication of interest form at
SOFIA CYCLE 5 CALL FOR OBSERVING PROPOSALS RELEASED
The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) Science
Center is pleased to announce the Call for Proposals for SOFIA Cycle 5
observing time. The Universities Space Research Association (USRA) is
issuing this call on behalf of NASA.
The SOFIA Cycle 5 call solicits proposals for approximately 476 hours
of observing time. Cycle 5 observations will be scheduled during the time
period between February 1, 2017 and January 31, 2018. A Southern
Hemisphere deployment that may include up to 3 instrument campaigns is
planned during Cycle 5, nominally around mid-2017.
The deadline for Cycle 5 proposal submission is July 1, 2016, 9 p.m. PDT.
A formal update of this Call for Proposals that will incorporate any late
changes in the observatory’s status will be posted publicly on June 10, 2016.
Seven instruments will be available during SOFIA Cycle 5: EXES, FIFI-LS,
FLITECAM, FORCAST, FPI+, GREAT (or upGREAT), and HAWC+.
The HAWC+ instrument and the upGREAT High Frequency Array mode
will be commissioned after the proposal deadline for Cycle 5, and are offered
for General Investigator observing in Cycle 5 on a shared risk basis, contingent
on successful commissioning.
This call is open to all qualified astronomers, world wide, in the U.S. and
outside the U.S., except for those currently affiliated with German institutions.
Astronomers with a German professional affiliation can participate through
the parallel German Cycle 5 call issued by the German SOFIA Institute (DSI)
on behalf of the German Aerospace Center (DLR).
Total General Investigator funding available through the Cycle 5 call is
expected to be approximately $5M, contingent on budget confirmation and
Information regarding preparation and submission of observing proposals
is available on the Cycle 5 webpage:
We look forward to your participation in this exciting new research opportunity.
Director of SOFIA Science Mission Operations
FEEDBACK TO OPAG ON NASA R&A RESTRUCTURING
Dear Outer Planets Community:
Your feedback is requested! The AG Chairs have been asked by the Space
Studies Board (SSB) for each community’s perspective on the efficacy of
NASA’s Planetary Science Division (PSD) Research and Analysis (R&A)
programs, following the 2014 restructuring. The OPAG community feedback
will comprise a portion of Alfred’s OPAG presentation to an SSB R&A
Review Committee on May 13.
The R&A Committee has been tasked to address the following questions:
1. Are the PSD R&A program elements appropriately linked to,
and do they encompass the range and scope of, activities needed to support
the NASA Strategic Objective for Planetary Science and the Planetary Science
Division Science Goals, as articulated in the 2014 NASA Science Plan?
2. Are the PSD R&A program elements appropriately structured to
develop the broad base of knowledge and broad range of activities needed both
to enable new spaceflight missions and to interpret and maximize the scientific
return from existing missions?
The SSB Review Committee guidelines include:
– Will conduct its review in the context of current budgetary realities that
have differed from projections assumed prior to the release of the most recent
planetary science decadal survey;
– Will not examine the PSD R&A programs as they were prior to the
– Will not comment on the strategic science goals and objectives of
PSD, SMD, or NASA.
Please send comments you would like to see presented to
[email protected] by May 9. All responses will be confidential,
and any included in Alfred’s presentation will be without attribution.
FEEDBACK TO MEPAG ON R&A RESTRUCTURING
Dear Mars Community:
Your feedback is requested! Jeff Johnson, MEPAG Chair, has been
asked by the Space Studies Board (SSB) for the Mars community’s
perspective on the efficacy of NASA’s Planetary Science Division
(PSD) Research and Analysis (R&A) programs. The Mars community
feedback will comprise a portion of Jeff’s presentation to an SSB
R&A Review Committee. The committee will hold its first meeting at
the National Academy of Sciences on May 12-13, and has invited
representatives from all of the PSD analysis groups.
In particular, the committee has been tasked to address the following
1. Are the PSD R&A program elements appropriately linked to, and do
they encompass the range and scope of activities needed to support
the NASA Strategic Objective for Planetary Science and the Planetary
Science Division Science Goals, as articulated in the 2014 NASA
2. Are the PSD R&A program elements appropriately structured to
develop the broad base of knowledge and broad range of activities
needed both to enable new spaceflight missions and to interpret
and maximize the scientific return from existing missions?
Please answer the survey questions by May 9 at:
A) POSTDOCTORAL POSITION IN MARS SCIENCE
The Department of Planetology and Habitability at the Centro de
Astrobiología (CAB) invites applications for a postdoctoral position
to support investigations on the nature of the early Mars environments.
The successful candidate will work with Dr. Alberto Fairén in the
ERC-funded Project “icyMARS”.
Applicants should have a recent Ph.D. in the field of Planetary Science
or related discipline, and a background in Mars research. Expertise in
Geochemistry or Microbiology would be helpful, but not required.
The position, placed in Madrid, would be for two years, with possible
extension to a third year contingent upon funding availability and
satisfactory performance. Benefits include working in a young enthusiastic
team at one of the leading Planetary Sciences institutions in Europe, full
social benefits according to the Spanish social care system, and a very
Applicants should send a letter of interest, a curriculum with a list of
publications, a brief (maximum two pages) statement of research interests,
and a list of three references, no later than July 1 2016, to Alberto Fairén
The starting date is negotiable, but should be no later than Jan 1, 2017.
B) PLANETARY INTERIOR STRUCTURE AND DYNAMICS SCIENTIST
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a Federally-Funded Research and
Development Center operated by the California Institute of Technology
for NASA, invites applications for a full-time position in interior structure
and dynamics of planets and satellites. The scientific scope of interest for
this position is broad, but candidates should have demonstrated expertise
in one of the following areas: Modeling of signal propagation in solid
bodies and atmospheres, with applications, for example, to icy satellites, Mars,
Venus, and giant planets; Processing of geophysical data, in particular seismic
signals, over a broad range of frequencies; Material mechanical properties and
their dependence on several parameters including pressure, temperature and
forcing frequency; and/or Modelling of planetary internal processes. The
selected applicant is expected to participate in or lead science definition and
advancement of new science, technology, and mission proposals.
The applicant must have a PhD in Geology, Geophysics, Physics, or a related
technical discipline. The applicant shall have an established reputation along with
a broad knowledge of planetary measurement approaches and expertise in modeling
and interpretation of the data for planetary science applications.
JPL/Caltech offers a competitive salary and impressive benefits, and provides
research opportunities at the leading edge of Planetary Science. To view the
full job description and apply, visit: http://Careerlaunch.jpl.nasa.gov/ (Job
ID #2016-6584). Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and should
include a curriculum vitae, a career statement with research objectives, and
contact information for three professional references. JPL/Caltech is an equal
opportunity/affirmative action employer.
C) POSTDOCTORAL POSITION REACTION DYNAMICS &
PLANETARY SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII AT MANOA, USA
The Reaction Dynamics Group, Department of Chemistry, University of
Hawai’i at Manoa, invites applications for one postdoctoral position. The
appointment period is initially for one year, but can be renewed annually
based on availability of funds and satisfactory progress. The salary is
competitive and commensurate with experience. Successful applicants
should have a strong background in experimental reaction dynamics, UHV
technology, and pulsed laser systems. The goal of the experiments is to
probe the formation of alkylphosphonic acids via interaction of ionizing
radiation with low temperature interstellar and cometary analog ices. Reaction
products will be probed via tunable vacuum ultraviolet photoionization of
the subliming molecules.
Solid communication skills in English (written, oral), a publication record
in internationally circulated, peer-reviewed journals, and willingness to work
in a team are mandatory. Only self-motivated and energetic candidates are
encouraged to apply. Please send a letter of interest, three letters of
recommendation, CV, and publication list to Prof. Ralf I. Kaiser, Department
of Chemistry, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96822-2275, USA
Applicants must demonstrate their capability to prepare manuscripts
for publications independently. The review of applications will start
May 30, 2016, and continues until the position is filled. A description of
our current research group can be found at
UPCOMING MEETINGS & WORKSHOPS
A) ENCELADUS AND THE ICY MOONS OF SATURN
Boulder, Colorado July 26-29, 2016
ABSTRACT DEADLINE : May 12, 2016
B) LUNAR AND SMALL BODIES GRADUATE CONFERENCE 2016 –
ANNOUNCEMENTAND ABSTRACT SUBMISSION DEADLINE: JUNE 3
Registration is now open for the 7th Annual Lunar and Small Bodies Graduate
Conference (LunGradCon 2016) to be held on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 at the
NASA Ames Research Center, preceding the NASA Exploration Science Forum
(ESF). With the expanded interests of the Solar System Exploration Research
Virtual Institute (SSERVI), the scope of this year’s LunGradCon includes
both lunar and small bodies science. LunGradCon provides an opportunity
for grad students and early-career postdocs to present their research on lunar
and small body science in a low-stress, friendly environment, being critiqued
only by their peers. In addition to oral presentations, the conference presents
opportunities for professional development and networking with fellow grad
students and postdocs, as well as senior members of SSERVI. A limited
amount of funding will be provided for travel and lodging costs.
The deadline for registration and abstract submission is June 3rd 2016, 11:59 PM PDT.
For more details, please visit:
or email any questions to: [email protected]
C) SUMMER SCHOOL IN SOFTWARE SYSTEMS FOR ASTRONOMY
The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Physics and Astronomy Department offers
the two week course (July 25 – August 5). The course covers software design
and implementation of telescope and instrument control systems, observation
planning tools, and software for analyzing and archiving astronomical data.
A full course description and instructions for enrollment are given at:
D) ASTEROIDS, COMETS, METEORS 2017 – 1ST CIRCULAR
10-14 April 2017
The series of conferences “Asteroids, Comets, Meteors” focuses on the
research of small Solar System bodies. The series constitutes the
leading international meeting in this field. The first three
conferences took place in Uppsala, Sweden in the 1980’s, and
afterwards they were organized every ~3 years all over the world.
Next year’s meeting will be held in the Edificio Polifuncional Jose
Luis Massera that belongs to the Universidad de la Republica and is
located beside the Faculty of Engineering. The building is
located near the sea coast in a beautiful green area called Parque
Rodo. There are several hotels and restaurants in the surroundings
within walking distances. Furthermore, Montevideo downtown is
only a ten minute drive away. There are several bus lines connecting
downtown with Parque Rodo.
For those interested in attending, please, fill the form with your
personal data. Provide us a tentative title of your contribution
and/or the subject you are working on:
Funds are very limited, so we expect to cover some accommodation
expenses for graduate students and recent PhDs; and it will be
possible to waive the registration fee for some people needing
Send submissions to:
Anne Verbiscer, DPS Secretary ([email protected])
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